“Why can’t we order Pizza again today?"
“It costs 1000 rupees for eating one time. Do you know how much I got as my first salary, two thousand rupees? You people don’t know the value of money”
“Are you saying we don’t have money to buy a pizza?”
“You are not understanding.”
“Dad, can you buy me the new iPhone?”
"Do you know how much that costs? My one month salary”
There is always a clash of ideas of what money means to each generation. If you were born in the 60s, 70s you actually treasured a hundred rupee note. You gave tuitions for a whole month to earn that money. You were probably the first person in your family to buy a car, a house etc. You have seen the value of hundred rupees and now are seeing how that money can’t buy you a decent meal.
If you have to understand the next generation, you need to understand that money and financial security means very different things to them than what it did to you. On the one hand, the value of money has eroded over the decades. What used to be a month's salary four decades back is left as a tip in a restaurant today. That is the real erosion in the value of money. So you cannot cling to the past value of money.
Secondly, we have grown up in an era of financial insecurity. Getting a job and keeping it was a big thing. We had to work hard to buy the first car, the first home etc. This generation is born into financial security. The saw a car from the first day, they have been dropped to the school by car every day, they have always stayed in own house and they woke up the first day of their life to the ringtone of a mobile phone.
To tell them how life was for you before the house, car and mobile phone is very entertaining (you must be from the Jurassic age) and they look at you with pity, ‘poor you’, but don’t expect them to suddenly value the ten-rupee note. They are operating from a different base of financial security and hence their thinking is different. This is never to underestimate the value of money but to understand that the next generation will always take somethings for granted.
We grew up without cars, cellphone, pizzas etc because those things were just not there. We can consider ourselves to be strong-willed etc only if we had those things, could afford it and yet chose not to have them. You are not tempted by what you don't see. But we tend to make a virtue of necessity, don’t we? If our dads could not afford somethings and our children’s parents (us) can afford that why to blame the children for undervaluing money. They are not undervaluing money, they are valuing it from a level that is different than ours.